Everyone can stay healthy, full of strength and energy, but only by asking a little more from ourselves than we normally do, leaving behind the laziness and stepping out of our comfort zone. This is the perfect time to look inside and ask yourself: Am I taking care of my body, mind and soul well enough?
Wintertime in Estonia and its short days brings a depressed and tired look to lots of faces. We struggle with stress that often deepens upon the arrival of dark days. This situation is familiar to many of us and it may occur because of the inability to live within the same rhythm with the seasons. People should reach the understanding that now is the time to slow down the pace of life and take a deep breath.
The development of health care in Estonian society is similar to many other countries, where the main focus is rather on dealing with consequences than finding or preventing the cause. A preventive, or proactive, mentality still needs to be introduced and understood.
It can be challenging to explain to your senior management why it is important to take time for yourself, arrange consultations with psychologists, do exercise or visit nutritionists, when you look healthy and feel well.
Let lifestyle prevent ageing
During my internship at Longevity Wellness Resort in Portugal, I experienced a situation wherein a seemingly successful, healthy and nice businessman arrived at the spa reception. He had just received his personal spa programme, according to the concept of the La Clinique de Paris Total Age Management, and stated that the only therapy he did not need was the stress management conducted by a psychologist. This gentleman tried to politely refuse one vital part of the programme, but the spa manager explained that stress management is a vital part of preventive health behaviour, which is too late to acquire when the stress levels have taken over and you are about to reach a breaking point.
It is useful and beneficial to learn some techniques for stress management, so you are able to keep yourself healthier and prevent burnout. This is especially useful if your life is more stressful than normal. To some extent, in each one of us lies a part of that senior manager who doesn’t fully realise the importance and impact of proactive health care. Sometimes learning a few stretching exercises, breathing techniques or mind release tasks can benefit more than you would have thought at first hand.
Nowadays we often immediately expect quick and visible results, this is also true in health care. But health is a long-term investment which needs constant care and oftentimes we can only see the effect when we grow old. We often don’t have time to think of how we would have benefited years after from the exercise done today or skills learned to take care of ourselves. It is natural behaviour to act only when a reason occurs.
When we think we will be mentally and physically as capable as in our early years, we are mistaken. One day it feels like a short warm-up in the gym is not enough, when lifting weights are too much, or at other times we are short of stamina while running and it generally feels we could have returned to exercising much earlier. In addition to the musculature, the whole body is going to age. Our decision is if we would like to delay the process.
Age management is possible
According to Doctor Rainer Arendt from the Dolder Grand Spa Hotel in Zürich, our body parts age at different times, which is a natural part of every individual’s lifespan. Ageing can be normal, delayed or rapid. Due to the current lifestyle, ageing tends to be either fast and untimely or at best normal. To age successfully there is an option for everyone – the ‘better ageing’ concept which is supported by philosophy, science and evidence-based therapies. Anti-ageing medicine brings us the latest biotechnological inventions like cell and stem-cell therapy to solve premature signs of ageing and health issues, and restore a person’s youth and energy.
The anti-ageing life philosophy is an opportunity to extend the general lifespan and impact the number of years lived in optimal health. Our desire to stay young, beautiful and energetic is as natural as the process of ageing itself, but on top of that the societal pressure directs people to lead an anti-ageing lifestyle.
During my study tour in Zürich I noticed that health management is affordable and seems to be more important to the wealthy population. For example, successful men who desire to become as rich as possible work through enormous pressure and at the same time are ageing at a rapid pace. These men are now in need of services that can help them maintain beauty, vitality, and postpone ageing. This demand can be driven by the fear of losing the chance to enjoy all the acquired assets of wealth, and is very reasonable, as they are in a high-risk health group. Beside the personal interests of any one individual, the anti-ageing lifestyle as a part of the preventive medicine also serves the aims of the European Union public health care development.
We are living in an ageing society where by 2050 there will be two elderly people for every child, so the situation is critical. The lifestyle of the elderly is entirely different from what society has been focusing on until today. In anticipating the collapse of the health care system, it is crucial to pay more attention to prevention and the possibilities for enabling a healthy lifestyle – to delay the ageing of society as well as prolong productive lifespan.
Taking time for personal growth
Better ageing includes an individual’s mental, physical and spiritual well-being. This philosophy promotes preventive health tests, consultations with health professionals and therapists, as well as perpetual learning and getting used to healthier habits. The age management philosophy will create a personal comprehensive and holistic anti-ageing lifestyle. A delayed ageing process can be reached by following the age management concept, which requires a sincere interest in oneself and in achieving one’s well-being, as well as readiness for life-long learning, and formation of new values and attitudes.
Previously, less attention was paid to one’s mental and physical well-being, and as a result it is more complicated to start on the road to successful ageing. The anti-ageing lifestyle is a simple and straightforward philosophy of healthy living, but is also a systematic and purposeful activity. It requires people to step out of an individual comfort zone and take time for personal growth.
While gathering information for my master’s thesis in Zürich, I realised that the age management system works upside down in our modern European world. The process begins from aesthetic changes, which gives a person a fresh look and impression of regained youthfulness, supporting further discovery of inner self.
I discussed this topic with the Executive Cirector of the Zürich Prevention Centre, Barbara Köhler. An example of a 50-year-old divorcee who has lost her job is common in our society, and in their praxis as well. By using aesthetic adjustments, like eyelid surgery, liposuction or wrinkle-filling injections, they gain motivation to take care of their health more than ever before. Only after aesthetic changes they believe in finding inner motivation and strength to start a healthier diet, exercise, mental training and all the other necessities to stay young and vigorous. It is often said that beauty starts from inside; however, for some reason people still do not think so or just do not behave according to their principles.
The successful ageing concepts teach us the optimal and beneficial way to lead a healthy life. The achievement of mental and emotional well-being will be the prerequisite for the achievement of optimal physical health. Only then the need for aesthetic changes should be considered, as the first two steps already influence the appearance of the person.
To bring some changes in life it would be good to become aware of yourself: What is going on in your mind and spiritual health; what physical condition your body is in and what could be the best training options for your personality; and anything you’d like to improve in appearance to increase self-confidence and well-being. You may want to measure your biological age to get an understanding of how have you been doing until now and also revise your nutritional habits, sleeping habits, work-rest pattern and all the other limiting factors that influence reaching optimal well-being.